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Acer Sango Kaku (Coral Bark Maple)

Hi, I've had my acer sango kaku (coral bark maple) for nearly 4 years and the beautiful red imageimagebark all of a sudden seems to die.  I am not sure if its getting affect by cold winds.  It survived quite well at the same spot since I've planted it.  Its imageplanted on a south facing garden.  I've enclosed some photographs of the specimen.  Could you kindly advice on how I could save my tree.  Would fleece sheets help.  Many thanks. 

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    I don't believe fleece sheets will be help. Your tree should be hardy. Sometimes, trees and shrubs can have die-back without any explanation, but mostly this is due to stress of lack of water over prolonged periods. Considering this is a 4 year old tree, I think less likely.

    You don't need to do anything yet, and just wait to see what happens next year. I can see some leaves near the base that seems to be fine.

    If not, you could start pruning your tree to inspect the wood. Where there are areas you consider it is dying back, maybe prune out the area. Check the wood in the cut. If there seems to be dark tarry coloured rings or marks inside the cut, your tree may be suffering from Verticillum Wilt. A soil borne disease that affects certain groups of plants. If caught fast, vigorous checking and pruning may save your tree. If that may be the case, you may just prune back the areas and wait for next year to see how it responds. 

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,364

    That looks like a fairly severe case of Verticillium wilt to me.

    If so I am afraid that the tree will die and should be removed, before other plants become infected.

    Wait to see if others agree with me.

    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • Many thanks for your comments boderline and punkdoc.  I think its verticillium wilt as you suggested.  I will cut back the affected branches almost to the bottom of the tree as it looks severely affected.  I suppose there is no treatment for this.  Sad to see this happen.  

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    Not that I'm aware of. Just had a look at the RHS site to see, and they do mention some kind of high nitrogen feed being watered in. It's mainly for woody plants, but as explained, it doesn't guarantee it's taken the problem away with this fungal disease that is in the soil. 

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=255

  • Thanks Boderline for the comments and for the link provided . I might just cut back all affected branches and wait till spring to see how the plant responds. Appreciate all the help provided. 

  • Acers of all kinds can be tricky to establish and grow successfully.  The pre-requisites are acid soil, continuous moisture, regular mulching with ericaceous material, shelter from drying, east winds and shelter from afternoon summer sun.  You might like to check this list to see if any of these factors contributed to the state of your tree.

  • Many thanks Copernicus for your comments. I guess I neglected some acers especially the coral bark maple tree for nearly 3 months whilst a conservatory was built at my place. So it relied heavily on rain water..stating which the soil is mulched properly and there is plenty of moisture. There is an Acer Osakazuki about 4m from it and that has survived very well. It’s a south facing garden as well. 

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